Treatment waiting time at Wigan hospitals plummet

Written by Abbey Donoghue

Hospital Trusts in Wigan have reduced their longest treatment waiting times by more than 90 per cent since February.

In February this year, NHS England committed to reducing treatment waiting times of more than two years in an effort to clear the backlog caused by the pandemic. This does not include cases where the patient chooses to delay their treatment.

Recent statistics show as of July 3, 11 patients were waiting this long for routine treatment at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL).

This shows a 91 per cent decrease from 116 at the end of February.

In January, the number of patients in England that were waiting for two years or more was 23,778. At the start of July, however, those numbers had dropped to 3,548.

Mary Fleming, WWL’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Staff are working incredibly hard to tackle current waiting lists.

“Whilst the number of patients waiting to be seen does continue to grow, the trust is ahead of plans to clear the backlog of patients waiting 78 weeks or more before March 2023, as per the commitment to NHS England.

“As at the end of June, 11 patients had waited over 104 weeks for treatment at WWL – in all cases, patients had chosen to defer treatment after being offered dates for surgery. This number reduced to seven during July as patients became available for treatment.

“While the reduction of 90 per cent is commendable, this must all be balanced with the need to treat the clinically urgent first, alongside pressures such as demand on emergency and urgent care which is being seen across the NHS as a whole.

“Patients will be contacted directly when new dates for appointments or surgeries can be offered and it is vital that appointments are kept once a date is given.”

Prof Stephen Powis, National Medical Director for NHS England, said: “These figures show our hard-working teams across the country are making good progress in addressing the Covid backlogs, with record numbers of diagnostic tests and checks in May, and fewer people facing the longest waits for elective care.”

Prof Powis added: “There is no doubt the NHS still faces significant pressures, from rising Covid admissions, thousands of staff absences due to the virus, the heatwave, and record demand for ambulances and emergency care.”